Monday, July 06, 2009

Another little victory for the motorist ...

Well done to Durham County Council for volunteering the refunds immediately. If there is a Traffic Order problem then it also applies to tickets

Parking fine win is ‘one for the little person’ Monday 6th July 2009
By Gavin Engelbrecht

A COUNCIL could have to pay back thousands of pounds in parking fines after a lecturer successfully challenged an £80 ticket.
Margaret Bond appealed against a penalty charge incurred for parking on the banks of the River Wear, in Durham city centre.
She had rushed to the city’s Silver Street to help a teenage friend who was being harassed by a gang of youngsters.
When she returned to her Peugeot 307 – only ten minutes later – a traffic warden had issued a parking ticket.

Ms Bond initially challenged the ticket on grounds of insufficient signage but, after hours of reading through traffic law, she found more far-reaching implications.
Her ticket was issued for parking in Fowler’s Yard – not, as it should have been – for Back Silver Street.
Following a traffic penalty tribunal, the council said it would refund other fines paid for tickets for “Fowler’s Yard”.

A council spokeswoman said since the authority took over responsibility for parking enforcement in November last year, 132 tickets had been issued at the location.
She said: “We are unable to say if any of these were issued for Fowler’s Yard. However, if motorists are able to show that they have received a notice in this location with the name Fowler’s Yard on it, we will be pleased to refund any payment.”

Ms Bond said: “At first I was just relieved to get my friend back to the car and wanted to get home. But then I thought it’s time the little person fought back.”

The 55-year-old endured two unsuccessful appeals before, following a hearing at the Holiday Inn, in Seaton Burn, North Tyneside, on June 16, adjudicator David Binns ruled the council had not proved its no waiting restriction covered Fowler’s Yard and ordered the fine be cancelled.
Ms Bond, of Brandon, County Durham, has now established Best Play Fair, to campaign on consumer issues.
She said the group had 20 cases outstanding against banks, credit agencies, energy providers and local authorities and had recouped £4,000.
“I believe in fair play and I don’t think we’re getting it in all cases.
“Everybody’s got a story of being overcharged, or of being taken advantage of. Our mantra is – challenge it.”

For more information, email To challenge a Fowler’s Yard parking ticket visit County Hall, Durham City, or write to the council’s parking services.

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